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The Anti-Abortion 'Seneca Falls'

Last weekend, about 500 anti-abortion activists — nearly all of whom were women — gathered in Dallas for what was billed as the first-ever “Pro-Life Women’s Conference.”

The event’s organizer, Abby Johnson, said that she wanted to “reclaim the narrative” of the movement, putting women at its front and including “many different groups of people,” including nonbelievers and LGBT people. She repeatedly said that the movement needs to “embrace the f-word”: feminism.

“This is our Seneca Falls, baby!” she said.

Johnson recalled speaking at a recent March For Life alongside a long line of men. “We know that the pro-life movement is led and has been led by women,” she said. “But for many years, women have sort of been leading from behind. And we haven’t done a very good job with our optics, right? So there’s photos and in the photos, it’s dudes.”

The conference came immediately before the Supreme Court rejected Texas’ attempt to limit abortion rights by regulating clinics out of existence, an effort that had been dubiously promoted as an effort to protect women’s health. The mainstream anti-abortion movement in recent years has been trying to claim that their main focus is on “protecting” women and to portray abortion as an unsafe and damaging procedure promoted by nefarious, profit-hungry organizations.

But Johnson’s conference aimed for something more: crafting a narrative that presented opposition to abortion rights as an explicitly feminist movement, one that could attract more than what she called “the traditional Christian pro-lifer.”

While Johnson said she wanted to create a unified “pro-life” message, the conflicts within the movement — and the challenge of expanding its reach — were evident even that weekend in Dallas.

Finding Common Ground With Pro-Choicers?

Several speakers at the conference — all of the speakers were women — urged the anti-abortion movement to take on issues with which they might find common ground with pro-choice feminists , including family leave policies, poverty alleviation and access to child care.

Serrin Foster, the head of Feminists for Life, said, “There are three key reasons for the feminization of poverty: Lack of education, lack of workplace accommodation and paternal support. Do that, three-fourths of the reasons that women have an abortion are over.”

She accused the abortion rights movement of giving up on these issues, saying that “by accepting pregnancy discrimination in the school and in the workplace, by accepting … the lack of support for pregnant women and parents, especially the poor, [Sarah] Weddington [the attorney who argued Roe v. Wade] and the Supreme Court betrayed women and the greatest experiment on women and children began: abortion.”

Similarly, Leah Jacobson, the president of the Guiding Star network of anti-abortion crisis pregnancy centers, talked about the need “to look at how women’s bodies function and make sure that our employers take this into account,” including by pushing for maternity and paternity leave laws, flexible work schedules for parents, and subsidized or on-site workplace child care.

Jacobson coupled this call with a heavy dose of maternalism, alluding to the transgender bathroom debate and saying that women must live out their “motherly calling”: “Men are wonderful but women are the heart of society. We love, we connect, we empathize, we are relational. Men are very good at seeing the large picture sometimes but they don’t see the littlest of all. We need to humanize the culture as women. And so it’s so important as women we live our motherly calling even if it’s not as a physical mother.”

While issues such as expanding family leave requirements and access to child care could be an area of consensus for self-identified pro-life and pro-choice feminists — whatever their reasons for supporting them — there seemed to be little enthusiasm at the conference for working with pro-choicers on these causes.

When Johnson asked who “the abortion movement” was united behind, an audience member yelled out, “the devil!” (The answer was Planned Parenthood.)

Similarly, when Johnson read a polite form letter that Hillary Clinton’s campaign had sent in response to a request to speak at the conference — Johnson had invited all three remaining presidential candidates, but Clinton was the only one to respond — it was met with howls of laughter and derision.

While Clinton has the clearly better record on policies supporting mothers — policies that speakers like Foster and Jacobson said help dissuade women from choosing abortion — the only positive references to presidential candidates at the event were allusions to Donald Trump’s promises to pick Supreme Court justices who would roll back Roe v. Wade. Anti-choice leaders as a whole have rallied behind Trump, who besides vowing to “cherish” women and appoint anti-choice judges, has not offered any serious plans for improving the lot of women in the workforce or helping women out of poverty.

The “pro-woman” talking points, ultimately, were largely meant to further one principal policy goal: recriminalizing abortion.

Many speakers hailed the slew of abortion restrictions that have been passed in the states in recent years, while noting that they don’t go far enough.

Karen Garnett, the director of the Catholic Pro-Life Committee of Dallas, moderated a panel on anti-abortion politics, telling the audience, “We cannot get pro-life laws passed unless we have pro-life legislators sitting in the state houses to pass those laws and in Washington, D.C. And it’s been good that we’ve been able to get that much done. But have we ended abortion yet? No. Have we fulfilled our call yet — no — to end this? It matters — look at this, where we are, where we sit together today with this Supreme Court decision coming down tomorrow — it matters who is sitting in the Oval Office in terms of the appointments of the Supreme Court justices.”

Star Parker, a frequent speaker at Religious Right events, kept her standard pitch to conservative audiences, blaming government “safety nets” for people getting “lost” and implying that churches rather than the government should be in charge of poverty alleviation: “Maybe God was right that you’re supposed to take care of the poor, not throw them off to some government bureaucrat.”

Ending Roe, Eliminating Planned Parenthood

While some speakers made nods to policies such as paid family leave and efforts to support pregnant women on college campuses, the real political enthusiasm at the event was behind shutting down abortion clinics, defunding Planned Parenthood and eventually eliminating Roe v. Wade.

“Roe v. Wade started here in Dallas, Texas,” Johnson said, “and I believe we can end it here.”

Marilyn Musgrave, a former Republican congresswoman who is now the vice president of governmental affairs at the Susan B. Anthony List, gave a speech in which she praised the House committee investigating Planned Parenthood for “kicking down the gates of hell.” She commended Texas’ restrictive legislation that was before the Supreme Court, saying that it was “going to save thousands of lives” and praying “that those abortion clinics will close down that do not meet those standards.”

During the politics panel, Texas activist Carolyn Cline held up a brick that she said was “the last brick in the lot” of an abortion clinic that had been closed by the Texas law, another acknowledgment that the law’s goal was to close clinics rather than improve safety. The law, said the Family Research Council’s Arina Grossu, was another sign that the anti-abortion movement “is winning.”

Throughout the event, Planned Parenthood was portrayed as a remorseless villain. Johnson, a former Planned Parenthood employee who now runs a group that tries to get abortion clinic employees to quit their jobs, showed a video she had recently found from her time at the group guiding counsellors on how to speak to women who are considering abortion, which she said showed “coercion” on the part of the group.

Parker went so far as to pin America’s economic troubles on Planned Parenthood’s continued existence: “Is it any wonder things are so dark in our country? Is it any wonder our economy is still sputtering? I don’t think that God is ready to bless America right now.”

Erin Brownback, a communications consultant who has worked with a number of prominent anti-choice politicians, had a similar warning about legal abortion in the U.S., saying, “Societies throughout history that allow a culture of death are destroyed. That is historically true, you can look back at the gladiators and different groups that have not protected life and those cultures have all died.”

While the criticism of Planned Parenthood centered on its role as a legal abortion provider, there was an undercurrent at the conference about resistance to hormonal contraception, including a workshop on Natural Family Planning. American Life League, a Catholic anti-abortion group, distributed a pamphlet arguing that the birth control pill “may cause an abortion.”

One interesting trend among the women anti-abortion activists was a willingness to talk forthrightly about their opposition to rape exceptions in abortion laws, something that Musgrave’s group has trained male politicians to avoid addressing. (This was in part thanks to the prodding of Rebecca Kiessling, a “conceived in rape” activist who asked as many speakers as she could about exceptions.) Some speakers approached the subject by portraying abortion in such cases not as violence against the “unborn” but as additional violence against the woman.

Musgrave, in response to a question by Kiessling, boasted of her group’s efforts to unseat Rep. Renee Ellmers, an anti-abortion Republican who derailed a vote on a 20-week abortion ban because she was worried that its rape exception was too restrictive. SBA List opposed Ellmers, she said, “because you know what, if we had let that action go unchallenged, we would have dumbed down ‘pro-life’ to where it didn’t mean anything.”

LGBT And Secular Outreach

Johnson made a deliberate effort to expand the reach of her conference beyond what she called “the traditional Christian pro-lifer.”

The Pro-Life Alliance of Gays and Lesbians (PLAGAL) set up a table. One piece of literature the group distributed explained that the line of Supreme Court cases establishing a “right to privacy” that encompasses both reproductive rights and the rights of gays and lesbians is irrelevant because LGBT rights would have succeeded anyway without the courts. “Abortion rights will fail because, unlike gay rights, they are not the result of a democratic process but rather a brand new ‘constitutional right’ created by a court impatient with democratic changes,” it said, seemingly dismissing the importance of major court victories that furthered LGBT equality. The group shared its table with the Pro-Life Humanists, who distribute anti-abortion literature at atheist events.

Kelsey Hazzard, the head of Secular Pro-Life, gave a workshop on “reaching non-Christian, LGBT, and other minority audiences with the pro-life message.” Aimee Murphy, the director of Life Matters Journal, gave a workshop faulting both political parties for what she said was an inconsistent ethic of human rights when it comes to abortion, capital punishment, torture and war, echoing the message of some early liberal Catholic anti-abortion activists. Kristen Day, the head of Democrats for Life, spoke and sponsored a booth.

A panel of mostly young women discussing activism strategies lamented that the anti-abortion movement had alienated LGBT people and others. Kristen Hatten, the vice president of the group New Wave Feminists, said that her gay friends “don’t really feel welcome in the movement. I would love to see that change, and not just for homosexual people, but transgender people and just everybody, everybody of all colors and creeds.”

Yet some of that alienation could be seen at the conference itself. Parker railed against the “war on marriage” and the “elimination of all gender binary.” She lamented that a “war on religion” had removed “any reference to God” from schools and that Americans were sending their kids “to these cesspools we call schools and they learn secular humanism.” She urged young, anti-abortion women to become lawyers “so they can make you a judge and you can get on these courts” and reject laws that are “unlawful in God’s eyes.”

The Family Research Council, one of the most stridently anti-LGBT advocacy groups in the country, sponsored a booth.

In some cases, the embrace of LGBT and secular allies didn’t seem all that sincere. Brownback, the conservative messaging consultant, said at a breakout session how delighted she had been to talk to the representatives of LGBT and secular groups at the conference. Just weeks before, Brownback had written on Twitter that while she loves her gay friends she thinks “they are hurting themselves and society” and opined that it’s “sad to see a feminized man.”

While the event seemed to be mostly comprised of Christians, and was heavily sprinkled with references to the Bible, Johnson seemed to catch on at the end as she noted before a closing prayer that not everyone in the room would choose to participate.

Despite the presence of Democrats for Life and other nontraditional allies, there was not much suggestion of moving beyond the movement’s current alliance with fiscally conservative Republicans who resist expanding the social safety net but are on board with punitive abortion restrictions. Many speakers steered away from explicitly political topics, speaking instead about building a “culture of life” in which women choose not to terminate pregnancies. But politically, there was little question that this self-proclaimed “feminist” movement would continue to ally itself with the party of Donald Trump.

Victims And Heroes

Brownback, a former Alliance Defending Freedom employee who said that she had worked with congressional Republicans on messaging around their efforts to defund Planned Parenthood and with the Texas attorney general, who brought the recent Supreme Court case, gave a crowded workshop on “Successful Pro-Life Messaging.”

She gave tips for how to connect with people on all sides of the issue. She recommended warming to pro-choicers by telling them “I hear you,” “that must be really hard” and, creatively, “you’re so pretty.” With people in the middle concerned with cases like rape and saving a woman’s life, she recommended not engaging on those issues but instead telling them that if they’re anti-abortion in 99 percent of cases, they’re anti-abortion.

Critically, she urged anti-abortion advocates to tell stories that “create the perception of a victim, a villain and a hero.”

In those stories, she said, the woman obtaining an abortion is the victim and the provider is the villain (with supporting villain roles sometimes played by overbearing boyfriends pressuring women to get abortions). “Anyone coercing women into having an abortion is in the role of the villain,” she said. “And keep in mind that a lot of times the people coercing women into having abortions are the ones who stand to financially profit from it. So that’s why we’ve talked about Planned Parenthood and we’ve talked about abortion businesses, because they are trained to sell abortions.”

“And who is the hero?” she asked. “You are the hero, your supporters are the heroes. You’re saying, here’s a victim that you have saved from this or someone that you could have saved. You are the hero, you are in that position.”

She said that she tries to bolster this image of anti-abortion heroes by taking “pictures of very attractive, beautiful, youthful people” at events and posting “a ton of them” on social media.

Brownback’s template story of the woman as a victim and the abortion provider as a villain looms large in the messaging of the anti-abortion movement. Yet not everyone at the conference was on board with characterization. Murphy said she was sick of anti-abortion literature that portrayed women as “a damsel in distress,” saying, “Let’s give them information that’s going to empower them and not play into this whole victim mindset.” Destiny De La Rosa of New Wave Feminists said, “When you make someone the hero of their own story, I think that’s very important, and I think the pro-life movement has missed an opportunity because, unfortunately, we tend to put women in the victim role a lot.”

Right Wing Round-Up - 6/29/16

Right Wing Bonus Tracks - 6/29/16

  • Donald Trump can’t stop asking foreign politicians for money. 
  • Judicial Watch spokesman Chris Farrell is not pleased with Trey Gowdy and the Benghazi Select Committee: “They made a huge error allowing Hillary Clinton to hold forth for 11 hours and appear as a martyr.” 
  • Linda Harvey wants to know, “When did a preference for anal sex between men achieve the same status as being an American citizen?”
  • Bill Owens says President Obama is a “sick man” who “thinks he can be a king like they have in Africa, but America don’t have kings.”

Rick Wiles: President Trump Would Prevent War With Russia

On “The Jim Bakker Show” on Tuesday, radio host Rick Wiles accused NATO of trying to provoke Russia into war, warning that another world war is imminent unless President Donald Trump unites the U.S. with Russia to “clobber the Muslims.”

“There’s a lot of military exercises taking place around the world,” Bakker said. “What do you think this means? Are we gearing up for a major war? Just say yes or no.”

“Yes,” Wiles responded. “Yes. Called NATO versus Russia. NATO has now put a military, a naval fleet in the Black Sea. You gotta look at a map, look at a geographical map of the Black Sea. When you see it, you understand the significance of it because it would be like Russia putting a naval fleet in the Great Lakes.”

“You wonder if the Russians are paranoid, nervous, and angry right now,” Wiles continued. “We’re pushing Russia to throw a punch, and the reason is the Western financial system is collapsing and the only way out of this thing is to start a world war and whoever survives the war is ruling the world.”

Wiles, a vocal supporter of Russian President Vladimir Putin, said that “if we had a President Trump, I think he’d probably go to Moscow and say, ‘Hey, let’s just unite and go clobber the Muslims.’”

He even made the bogus claim that the U.S. is aiding ISIS: “We are ISIS in the Middle East. ”

Michael Savage: 'Trey Gowdy Should Be Impeached For Wasting My Time' On Benghazi

Conservative talk radio host Michael Savage mocked Rep. Trey Gowdy, R-S.C., yesterday after Gowdy’s Benghazi Select Committee released a report that offered no new information about the 2012 attack.

“Trey Gowdy should be impeached for wasting my time!” he fumed. “He promised us a lot! Remember?”

He added: “He had a Benghazi hearing three months ago and it was an embarrassment. Hillary turned them into idiots. Trey Gowdy. Here he is again now, $80 million later, what did he find out? What we knew already.”

Savage, nonetheless, still stood by the claim that the Obama administration told officers to “stand down” during the attack, a debunked conspiracy theory that was not corroborated by Gowdy’s report.

GOP Rep Dave Brat Appears On Alex Jones' Conspiracy Radio Show

Donald Trump and Rand Paul aren’t the only Republican politicians enthralled by far-right conspiracy theorist Alex Jones, as Rep. David Brat, R-Va., appeared on Jones’ Infowars network show yesterday to claim that liberals are allied with radical Islamists.

After Jones falsely claimed that the city of London’s new mayor is imposing Sharia law and that President Obama and liberals have “allied with Islam,” Brat wholeheartedly agreed — “You nailed it” — and said the Founding Fathers never thought that an “intolerant” religion like Islam would be able to integrate into American culture.

Brat added that just as the British need to “go back to restoring their culture” after they voted to leave the European Union, Americans need to reclaim “the Judeo-Christian tradition,” lamenting that “religious toleration is becoming a ‘safe zone’ where you’ve got to sign up before you can go to church, it looks like.”

Steve King: GOP Shouldn't 'Pander' To Hispanics 'Because We're All God's Children'

Last Wednesday, Rep. Steve King, R-Iowa, joined Iowa radio host Simon Conway at anti-immigrant hate group Federation for American Immigration Reform’s “Hold Their Feet to the Fire” radio row, where he said that it was wrong for the Republican Party to “pander” to Latino voters “because we’re all God’s children.”

“[Republicans] like the cheap labor and Democrats like the expansion of the politics, as you say,” King told Conway while discussing his opposition to immigration reform. “It’s about their ability to document undocumented Democrats, bring more undocumented Democrats in and then document them so that they can vote.”

King continued, “From the time I arrived in this town, my own leadership on the Republican side went to great lengths to try to suppress my verbiage because they said, ‘Don’t talk about that, don’t assign them a motive of it being politically motivated, we really want it to be humanitarian and we want to be open-minded,’ and you know how that all goes.”

King pointed out that Hispanics in South Texas voted Democratic in 2000 and, as a result, the GOP “concluded that they needed to do outreach to Hispanics, and the way to do that was to pander, and it’s a mistake to do that because we’re all God’s children, we’re cut from the same image, and he gives us distinctions so we can tell each other apart, and he gives us inspirations. And so we shouldn’t do identity politics and we shouldn’t pander.”

Conway interjected that “identity politics is racist,” to which King agreed.

David Barton Accuses Us Of Lying About What He Said ... By Lying About What We Said

Back in 2014, we wrote a post titled "Barton: Not Allowing Women To Vote Was Designed 'To Keep The Family Together'" in which we posted an audio clip of David Barton defending the Founding Fathers for denying women to right to vote when writing the Constitution on the grounds that doing so was designed to protect the institution of the family. 

Here is what we wrote:

On today's episode of "WallBuilders Live," David Barton explained that women were not given the right to vote when the Constitution was written because the Founding Fathers were trying to protect the institution of the family by giving every "family" a right to vote through the male head of the household.

Responding to a question from a listener who argued that the Founding Fathers denied women the right to vote not out of sexism but rather based on the biblical principle that a house divided against itself cannot stand, Barton said that this interpretation was exactly right because not allowing women to vote was designed "to keep the family together."

That introduction was followed by the audio of Barton's remarks and a transcript. 

Some people took Barton's comment to mean that he doesn't think that women should have the right to vote, which is not what he said, nor is it what we claimed that he said. 

But for some reason, Barton blasted us on his Facebook page last night while responding to someone on Twitter who accused him of not wanting women to vote: 

This past weekend, I saw a tweet blasting me by HGM@RightWingIdiot1 (see picture):

@DavidBartonWB I hope you wife and if you have daughters leave you and your hate for women. How dare you state women shouldn't vote.

This references a May 1, 2014 WallBuildersLive radio program in which I was answering audience questions, including one about women’s suffrage, the Founding Fathers, and the Constitution. The questioner did not believe the Founders were being sexist but rather that they voted more by households than by individuals. I affirmed that this was correct, and showed occasions of women voting as far back as the 1600s if they became the heads of the household. We also pointed out that the Constitution did not prohibit women from voting prior to that, but that the 19th Amendment was added to ensure women’s suffrage.

Nevertheless, Right Wing Watch – a far left secularist progressive group whose parent organization is funded by atheist billionaire George Soros – came out with an article wrongly claiming that I defended the inability of women to vote in early America. That false claim was picked up and repeated by others, including the tweet I saw this weekend.

Interestingly, one of my strongest critics and loudest opponents, Professor John Fea of Messiah College in California, actually defended me against this false charge. (I have been told by students of Messiah College that they actually taught a course there against me – that they use me to show the wrong view of American history in the Founding Era.) Dr. Fea acknowledged that he “just listened to the entire episode,” and then pointed out several reasons why the claim from Right Wing Watch was wrong, including:

“1. Nowhere in this episode does Barton say the 19th amendment was a bad thing or that women voting is a bad thing. Listen for yourself. Some might say he is implying this. If someone wants to make this argument, it is a stretch.”

“2. The clip I posted above [from Right Wing Watch] has been edited. The part of the discussion in which Barton and Green seem to suggest that women's suffrage is a positive development in American life has been cut out.”

Right Wing Watch omitted the part of the program that would refute their own false claim. (This is something they regularly do in their frequent charges against me.) Their false accusation that I oppose women voting continues to have life even years later because folks too often repeat what others say rather than following the example of critic John Fea, who listened to the entire episode and thus recognized the claim as false.

Furthermore, I have been on record for years stating that my goal is for 100% of all Americans to be registered to vote, and to vote – I want 100% citizen participation in voting.

Given all of this, my questions for HGM@RightWingIdiot1 would begin with:

1. Did you fail your Math and English classes in school? For years I have said that my objective is 100% of Americans voting in every election. Do you think that 100% of Americans does not include women? 100% is fully inclusive and means everybody!

2. You want my wife and daughter to leave me??? I would not wish that on anyone, even those who consider themselves my enemies. It is ironic that those who accuse others of being haters are often the ones who display the most hate.

3. You really think I hate women? I have reprinted books and appeared on numerous media programs to reintroduce female heroes from history back to the modern generation. In fact, in writing history and social studies standards for state boards of education, the official public records affirm that I have been solely responsible for including numerous women in the texts.

4. Why don’t you set an example for people from your side: check the facts for yourself rather than just parrot what someone else says – learn to think for yourself rather than be part of Right Wing Watch group think.

It’s time for the falsehood that I don’t want women to vote (and so many of the other fabrications distributed by Right Wing Watch and their allies) to come to a halt. Perhaps this post will help accomplish that.

DB

We never once claimed that Barton opposes the right of women to vote, as he repeatedly asserted. We were rather highlighting his absurd claim that the Founding Fathers were not sexist in denying women the right to vote because they did so in the name of "protecting the family." 

It is amazing that Barton is seemingly so incapable of telling the truth that he is now reduced to lying about us having supposedly lied about him. 

Austin Ruse: Trump 'Will Let Our Side Have What We Want' On Reproductive Rights

A conservative Catholic activist who was at Donald Trump’s meeting with Religious Right leaders in New York last week said on Saturday that while he wasn’t convinced of Trump’s sincerity in opposing abortion rights he was confident that Trump will “let our side do exactly what we want to do” on the issue.

Austin Ruse, who through his group C-Fam works to oppose reproductive rights advances at the United Nations, discussed the meeting with fellow conservative Catholic leader Deal Hudson, who was also at the Trump meeting, on Hudson’s program on Ave Maria Radio on Saturday.

Hudson asked Deal what he thought of Ralph Reed and others saying that Trump is “sincerely pro-life, that it’s not something that’s been an add-on for this election.”

“I’m indifferent to his sincerity,” Ruse said, “because I think that at the end of the day, he will do the right thing because it is what we want. And that gets back to constituencies that he wants to please.”

Ruse said that just as he trusts conservative allies to guide him on issues like economic policy that aren’t his area of expertise, “with regard to the life issues,” Trump will “let our side do exactly what we want to do.”

“These are things that he doesn’t care about,” he said, “and therefore he will let our side have what we want. For instance, if a bill comes to his desk to defund Planned Parenthood, he’s not going to shut the government down to avoid it. I think he’ll sign it because he doesn’t care. That’s what I mean, is that he will step aside on things that — now you say and Ralph Reed says that it’s something that he really does care about. That’s even better news. But even if he doesn’t, as long as he lets us have our way, then that’s fine.”

The anti-abortion movement has largely lined up behind Trump thanks in part to his repeated promises to nominate “pro-life” justices to the Supreme Court. Marjorie Dannenfelser, the head of the Susan B. Anthony list and a former Trump critic, is now defending Trump’s anti-abortion bona fides . Troy Newman, the head of the radical group Operation Rescue, came out of the recent meeting with Trump saying that “the general consensus was he’s our man, and we’re going to work for him.”

Hudson also revealed on the program that Trump is planning to announce a Catholic Advisory Board, similar to his Evangelical Advisory Board, which naturally both he and Ruse hoped that they would be on.

Gordon Klingenschmitt, Colorado's Most Famous Anti-Gay, Demon-Hunting Legislator, Loses His Bid For Higher Office

Back in 2014, Religious Right activist Gordon Klingenschmitt won a seat in the Colorado House of Representatives despite this long history of saying truly outrageous things. Unsurprisingly, Klingenschmitt's brief term in office was repeatedly marked by controversy. At one point, he was even stripped of a committee assignment after saying that a brutal attack on a pregnant woman in Colorado was the result of "the curse of God upon America" for allowing legal abortion.

Klingenschmitt, though, never quite seemed to learn his lesson and announced last year that he would be running for a seat in the state Senate in 2016 while continuing to voice his radical views on his daily "Pray In Jesus Name" program.

Last night, voters went to the polls in the state's primary and Klingenschmitt lost badly to his Republican rival by a margin of 62 to 38 percent. 

Klingenschmitt, who believes that the most godly candidate will always win "unless the people are evil," predictably blamed the voters for thwarting the will of God that he be elected.

Instead of saying that the election results reflected the will of God, as religious candidates often do when they lose, Klingenschmitt said that his loss just shows that "God's will is not always done in this world": 

East of downtown at The Airplane Restaurant, Klingenschmitt's speech took on a religious tone.

"I work hard to establish God's kingdom, not my own, and, as you know, God's will is not always done in this world," Klingenschmitt told dozens of supporters beneath model airliners hanging from the ceiling.

Retta Blodgett, who volunteered for Klingenschmitt's campaign, was disheartened by the results.

"I'm disappointed because the kind of competition his opponent ran was a dirty campaign," she said. "The fact that he (Klingenschmitt) could go into the government and take a stance and not worry about what people thought - that's what conservatives need now to get our country back."

Klingenschmitt fielded handshakes and pats on the back from throngs of supporters encouraging him to keep faith.

"I thank God for the opportunity to run a clean race on my side, even if that was not reciprocated," he said in an interview. "I'm disappointed that people can lie, steal and cheat and violate their cadet honor oath and still win elections. I kept my cadet honor oath, and I ran with integrity, and I hold my head high."